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QUITMAN, TEXAS. Quitman, the county seat of Wood County, is at the junction of State highways 154 and 37 and Farm roads 778 and 2966, ten miles north of Mineola in the west central part of the county. It became the county seat at its founding in 1850 and was named for John A. Quitman, a governor of Mississippi and a prominent figure in the Mexican War. Quitman grew slowly during its early years, probably because of the lack of transportation facilities. By 1870 it had a population of only 320. In 1872 the Texas and Pacific Railway decided to locate a depot in Wood County. The company was demanding $100,000 in county bonds to help finance a line westward from Longview. James Stephen Hogg, who had just moved to Quitman and who was just beginning his political career, led a fight to deny the company this subsidy. Hogg won, and the railroad company chose Sodom (later called Mineola) as the site for this depot. By 1904 Quitman had an estimated population of only 368, but in the next twenty years the town became a service center for the many farmers working the fertile surrounding lands. In 1930 the population had risen to an estimated 950, and the town had thirty-five businesses. The Great Depression brought a period of decline during the 1930s, but the discovery of oil around Quitman in 1941 and World War II helped to reverse it. By 1954 the population had risen to 927. The opening of several nearby recreational lakes in the late 1950s led to additional growth and prosperity. The population in 1980 stood at 1,893, and by 1984 the town had two banks, a library, a hospital, and a weekly newspaper. In 1990 the population was 1,684. The population grew to 2,030 in 2000. Quitman is the hometown of actress Sissy Spacek.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Robert C. Cotner, James Stephen Hogg: A Biography (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1959). Fred I. Massengill, Texas Towns: Origin of Name and Location of Each of the 2,148 Post Offices in Texas (Terrell, Texas, 1936). Wood County Democrat, July 27, 1950.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, David W. Gilbreath, "Quitman, TX," accessed April 27, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjq03.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.